Guide for First-Time Buyers

Buying your first home is a milestone experience, but before you start looking at properties, there are a few things you need to know first.

Taking that first step on the property ladder is an intimidating prospect, however here are several options available for first-time buyers to help you buy your first home. One of the most highly recommended options available for first-time buyers is the help-to-buy ISA when saving for a deposit, utilise the help-to-scheme and get a percentage of the mortgage while renting the remaining portion, or there is the traditional route.

First Time Buyers Deposit

Before you even start thinking about buying your first house, you need to save a deposit!

For some, this task is an extremely daunting prospect. However, it doesn’t need to be, merely having a set budget every month will help you to save a better deposit you place on your first home.

As a rule of thumb, you will need a minimum deposit of 5% for your first property; usually, a minimum deposit will range between 5%-20% of the property’s value. The more deposit you have, the less you will need on a mortgage, which allows you to accumulate a more significant budget for other necessities that are associated with buying a new house.

Other Costs for Buying Your First Home

Alongside your deposit, you will need to factor in the additional costs of buying a new home. For first time buyers, an independent mortgage adviser will be a great help to find out the best course of action to take when looking into potential properties. Other costs you must take into account include:

  • survey costs
  • solicitors fee
  • building insurance
  • removal costs
  • initial furnishing and decorating
  • mortgage arrangements and valuation
  • stamp duty (if your property is over £125,000)

While saving for your deposit, it is recommended to keep a list of additional costs you have in mind. Keeping a record of additional costs will result in you not having to worry about racking up unnecessary costs in the future.


A mortgage is a ‘secured’ loan against the value of the property until it is paid off. On average, a mortgage agreement runs for 25 years. However, the term can be shorter or longer, depending on your requirements. If repayments are not met, the lender can repossess the property and sell it to ensure the safety of their investment.

It is essential you work out how much you can afford when looking to buy your first home. Buying your first home is an expensive prospect, where possible you don’t want to stretch yourself and not make the repayments. Something to keep in mind is the cost of running the home, alongside any other bills you may have outgoing every month.

Help-to-Buy Scheme

The Help-to-Buy scheme is a government-funded scheme that helps first-time buyers buy a new-build property. The government lends the homeowner up to 20% of the purchase price interest-free for the first five years if you have at least a 5% deposit, on a property that is less than £600,000.  The government has extended the scheme for first-time buyers to 2023. The government loan needs to be paid within 25 years, or sooner if the house is sold.

How Cairds Can Help You

The Cairds Estate Agents have years of expert knowledge in achieving the best price for your first home. We know everything there is to know about first time buying and can help you every step of the way. To find your local estate agent, please contact us to find out how we can help you further.